hi all...i'm a beekeeper from the philippines with 60 mellifera hives and about 3 cerana hives as of the present. i originally had 10 cerana hives but 7 absconded! i have gone around talking to other beekeepers, weighing the pros and cons of cerana and mellifera and the bottom line is, i have decided to do both, in spite of my sad experience with cerana's absconding.
the melliferas produce more honey and pollen and do not abscond easily. however, they do have the specter of brood diseases and mites, not to mention the financial aspect since the hives cost much more than ceranas. there's also the add on of having to buy queens on a fairly regular basis.
the ceranas produce much less honey and pollen than mellifera and easily abscond. however, aside from absconding and wax moth problems, they are not hit by mites or brood diseases! plus being native to my country, if you split the colony or they swarm, theres no worry because they can make their own queens with enough genetic material in the existing population of drones in a given area.
one observation i have had of cerana....if the colony absconds and you don't see any sign of wax moths in the box or combs, then dont bother to capture the swarm. in all probability they will just keep absconding! better to keep the colonies that have never tried to abscond and split them when they become large enough. this has been the observation of many beekeepers here who have had a lot of experience with ceranas, and i have tried this method and so far its been working for me. those colonies i got from splitting from a tame colony have NOT absconded yet.